Striking workers of the Dominion farms in Siaya County have refused to resume work unless a company manager whom they blamed of abetting the woes bedeviling the firm is sacked.
During a daylong meeting that brought together the workers, labor officials and the company management at Kadenge Ratuoro, the employees turned down the Shs5,500 offer that they were to be paid immediately as arrangements are made to clear their five month salary arrears at the end of this month.
Addressing the workers after a closed door meeting, the Siaya county labor officer Mrs Margaret Onduri said an agreement had been reached that each of them receives the amount and that they resume work immediately.
Onduri said that on top of the amount, the employees will further be allowed to join a trade union without victimization while those who were laid off un- procedurally be reinstated.
She said that the casual employees who have been working in the firm for long will be absorbed into permanent employment, adding that her office will follow up on the implementation of the agreement.
However, the workers protested at the agreement, saying that they did not trust their employer.
They said that their employer had failed to remit statutory deductions and was sitting on their welfare dues amounting to over three million shillings.
The problem with this firm is the manager, Chris Abir and he should be relieved of his duties if the company is to prosper, said a worker who protested that the sh.5, 500/- could not cater for the numerous debts he has incurred over the last five months.
However, the labor officer said the company had committed to clear the arrears by 5/7/2017 and pleaded that they resume work immediately.
Area member of the county assembly, Leonard Oriaro who also attended the meeting, urged the workers to give dialogue a chance, adding that together with the relevant national government offices, he will ensure that the resolutions were implemented.
The 350 dominion farm workers downed their tools last week demanding salary areas of four months and the remittance of union dues and other statutory deductions.
Early this year, the firm was in the news when its American proprietor, Calvin Burgess alleged that former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga and a host of local leaders had threatened to blackmail him for failure to bribe them.
The leaders, among them Oriaro however dismissed the claims, with Siaya county assembly calling for a probe on the investor whom they accused of violating labor laws and using propaganda to malign local leaders while preparing to leave the country.
Source: Kenya News Agency